SidneyKay's Reviews > Midnight Scandals

Midnight Scandals by Courtney Milan
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really liked it

** spoiler alert ** The art of villain metamorphosis

I was so excited when I saw that these three authors were doing an anthology together. Love love love most of their works. I am of course speaking of Carolyn Jewel, Courtney Milan, and Sherry Thomas. Since this is an anthology, there is always a chance that the stories will not be as good as a full length novel. I always find it interesting to see how authors I really consider to be powerhouses handle short stories. And, in this case I wasn't disappointed. Now, were there some moments of my not liking a particular part of the story. Of course there were! None of the stories were without a little bump in the road. However, for me this was an enjoyable read and I do recommend it, especially if you are looking for something quick to take the summer blues away.

The stories in Midnight Scandals are loosely connected by being in a place called Doyle's Grange, but at different time periods. It was a nice connection.

The first story is One Starlit Night, by Carolyn Jewel, and it takes place in 1815. Carolyn Jewel can write some of the hottest love scenes around and this little tome has some steam just rolling off of those pages. SSSSsss. This story is one of lost love/found love. A couple (Crispin and Portia), who were in love when they were young, find each other again. There is a lot of pain for them to overcome and they have a whole lot of trouble talking to each other. Usually when a couple don't talk to each other I get irritated, but in this case the wall they had to get through to communicate didn't irritate me. In fact, I could feel the pain they were having... it was depressing. Great job on the depressing! And, give a hardy welcome to a woman who could be nominated for the Mommie Dearest award, except she's not the mom, she's the sister-in-law. She steps on crocuses, for Pete's sake!!! I bet she pulls dogs' ears, too.
Time/Place: 1815 England
B+

The second tale is What Happened at Midnight, by Courtney Milan. Now we have a really creepy villain. In fact, I thought this guy almost stole the whole show - what an interesting second story-line! I hope Ms. Milan has plans to do a follow-up on Sir Walter Patsworth and his wife Lady Patsworth. There was some wonderful humdinger angst surrounding this couple and it deserves a book of its own. Very interesting stuff. But, hey, the story isn't about them, it's about Mary and John. By the way, these two are not aristocrats. They are, however, also lost/found lovers. This couple was able to talk - that is, when Mary could escape from her employer they could talk. Her employer is Sir Walter, the truly creepy villain. The center love story involves the slow growth of trust once it's lost. Not as hot as Jewel's work, but the disturbing Sir Walter makes up for that. I can't tell you too much about Walter and his wife, but I loved the way the newspaper/wife scenes were written. Truly shiver-worthy.
Time/Place: 1853 England
B

The third installment is Sherry Thomas' with Dance at Midnight. Remember the vile woman from Ravishing the Heiress? The one who wanted the married man, didn't seem to care about what her children thought about her living with a married man, showed up at train stations when not asked to? Remember loathsome Isabelle? Well, she has her own story. I really disliked her intensely in Ravishing the Heiress, but in this book she is completely different. There isn't anything that is recognizable between this woman and the knife-in-the-back woman from the novel. I liked this Isabelle; the author made her a totally sympathetic character. And, if I hadn't seen her in action in RtH, I would have been able to buy into her transformation in this story. The other thing I had a slight problem with was Fitz, our hero, being identical in looks to Fitzhugh, the husband from Ravishing the Heiress. Some of my ick factor kicked in, but my ick factor came on big time when the two lovers Fitz (Fitzwilliam, not Fitzhugh) and Isabelle started talking about the fun sex lives they had with their dearly departed spouses. I did enjoy their correspondence and discussion, but not necessarily the "I did this with my dead wife on the table" excerpts. (She wasn't dead when they had sex by the way - that would really be an ick moment.) I believe these exchanges of past sex lives were supposed to be titillating, and Isabelle seemed to be aroused but I had an EEEWWWWW moment or two.
Time/Place: 1890's England
B-

Overall, Midnight Scandals is a good book with just a few bumps. You really can't go too wrong with Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas and Carolyn Jewel.

KaysBlog
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 9, 2012 – Finished Reading
October 3, 2012 – Shelved

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